The Willard is a historic hotel that has played host to many U.S. Presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, just before his inauguration in 1861. The Willard has also been home to many important Filipino gatherings, such as Manuel Quezon‘s farewell banquet in August 1916. This was at the end of Quezon’s term as Resident Commissioner, the equivalent of a Philippine ambassador during that period. In April 1932, the Philippine Independence Mission—led by Sergio Osmeña and Manuel Roxas—hosted a dinner in honor of W. Cameron Forbes, who decades earlier served as Governor General of the Philippines. In February 1938, the Philippine delegation hosted a program in honor of U.S. High Commissioner to the Philippines Paul McNutt. Filipina soprano Enya Gonzalez, fresh from her tour of Europe, performed that evening. In 1943, Sergio Osmeña, who was Commonwealth Vice President at that time, lived here briefly before moving into a unit at the Hotel 2400 (2400 16th street, NW).
Photo credit: Private collection
Willard Hotel. 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. Open to the public. For more information, click here.
F. Santa Maria (2006) The Governor-general’s Kitchen: Philippine Culinary Vignettes and Period Recipes, 1521-1935 (Pasig: Anvil); “Mr. Forbes Is Honored By Prominent Filipinos,” The Washington Post, April 20, 1932: 8; Vicente Albano Pacis (1971) President Sergio Osmeña: A Fully-Documented Biography (Manila: Philippine Constitution Association).